Lately I worry a lot about who to kill off.
Donít call the policeóIím talking about characters in the thriller Iím currently writing.
I donít mind offing bad guys, because they fully deserve it. Every one of them, believe me. Itís the good characters who trouble me, imaginary people Iíve come to like and respect.
Iím writing this novel, so I suppose Iím Zeus, and I get to decide who dies and who lives. However, the truth is that the story itself is king of the gods, with its own wishes and demands and requirements. Authors are soothsayers. All we can do, really, is divine what the story wants and do its bidding.
For instance, this novel started as a pure thriller, set on a Caribbean island, but Iím about midway through now andóall on its ownóitís taken on a faint sci-fi tinge, although nothing that couldnít actually happen in the world today. Letís just hope it doesnít.
Caliban Rising is the novelís title. So far, at least. Even in titles, the story will have its way, so weíll see.
Anyway, back to the question of good characters dying. For some reason, in our real world, weíve lately had a rash of people we know dying. People not yet in their fullness of years. Brain cancers, heart attacks, prostate cancer, rare disorders with unpronounceable namesÖ.
I suppose that what determines who dies too young is not goodness, not badness. Itís just how our story wants to be told.